Can I get fired for reporting sexual harassment to my employer?

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employees have the right to report sexual harassment to their employer. Employers have the responsibility to respond to a sexual harassment complaint with a thorough, objective and complete investigation, and to take prompt and effective action should it be determined that sexual harassment did occur. California Government Code Section 12940(h) specifies that it is unlawful for an employer to discharge, expel or otherwise discriminate against a person who files a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding related to the complaint of the sexual harassment. This behavior is referred to as unlawful (or wrongful) retaliation. Retaliation includes termination, as well as other kinds of negative employment action, which might range from a poor performance review, to being reassigned to a less favorable shift to demotion to a lower ranking position.

The FEHA protects employees if they choose to file a complaint, testify or assist in a proceeding against their employer, supervisor or coworker. The FEHA also prohibits employers from retaliating against a worker for engaging in such action. Retaliation is also prohibited under federal law.

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